\ ˈküth How to pronounce couth (audio) \

Definition of couth

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: sophisticated, polished Although they disagreed with the speaker, they were couth enough to listen to him respectfully.



Definition of couth (Entry 2 of 2)

: polish, refinement I expected kindness and gentility … but there is such a thing as too much couth.— S. J. Perelman

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Examples of couth in a Sentence

Adjective he's remarkably couth for someone who grew up in a small town with limited cultural opportunities Noun their future son-in-law's lack of couth was of some concern to this patrician couple
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Even some of Durant’s Warriors’ teammates manifested their artsiness in less-than-couth ways. Dieter Kurtenbach, The Mercury News, "Kurtenbach: The unfair, unsavory truth of Kevin Durant’s injury," 11 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'couth.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of couth


1896, in the meaning defined above


1947, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for couth

Adjective and Noun

back-formation from uncouth

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Time Traveler for couth

Time Traveler

The first known use of couth was in 1896

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Statistics for couth

Cite this Entry

“Couth.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Jul. 2020.

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with couth

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